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BIHL lets women run the show

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Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), the country’s principal diversified insurance and asset management group, has lined up all its most powerful positions with women, from Chief Executive to board chairperson, Business Trends has observed.

All indications are that starting next year, at least three most powerful and influential posts will be occupied by women. As a matter of fact, BIHL Chairperson is Batsho Dambe-Groth. As the BIHL Chairperson, Groth is the main lady when it comes to drafting, approval and execution of the group’s strategy.

BIHL is insurance and asset management behemoth. The company, which is owned in majority by Sanlam, is a market leader in many respects. Its wholly owned subsidiary – Botswana Life – controls more than 70 percent of the industry.

Come April 2016, current Botswana Life boss, Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele will walk across the block at Fairgrounds offices, to assume the BIHL top post on the other side.She will be replacing Malawian-man Gaffar Hassam. Hassam is leaving for a much more challenging and rewarding position as group executive at Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM). As BIHL boss, Letegele will most likely be the most powerful corporate lady in Botswana’s private sector.

Apart from the mouthwatering perks that come with the post, Letegele will be leading a BSE-quoted business, which has a market value of P4, 2 billion. The group is now 40 years old, and it has promised to continue to lead the pack.

BIHL has investments across the economy through its several subsidiaries. At BIFM, the group’s asset management subsidiary, Neo Bogatsu has just received the nod to lead the multibillion Pula Company. It is an early Christmas present for her. She assumed the top post on the 1st December 2015.

As the Chief Executive of this company, Bogatsu is the go to lady for above normal rate return on investments for products such as unit trusts, savings, assets management and capital market investments in the country.

Bogatsu will be heading a trailblazing business with asset under its management totaling P20, 5 billion as of June 2015. In yet another development, which will add to the growing list of women in top posts at BIHL and its subsidiaries, Bilkiss Moorad has been roped in to deputise outgoing Botswana Life boss, Letegele. The post is new at the company.

Moorad, an insurance stalwart is likely to head the company when Letelege bids the firm goodbye early next year, sources have said. Moorad is a former manager at Zurich Insurance company.

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Engen profit goes up

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Engen Botswana, the only listed petroleum company is expecting better results for the six months to June 2018 as a result of favourable trading environment. For the six months period to June 2017, the company made a profit of P55,2 million.

Engen, which supplies petroleum products to retail and institutional clients said, compared to the same period in 2017, profits will be higher on the backdrop of rising international crude oil prices. According to available data, oil prices jumped by 20 percent in the first six months of the year to close at $73 per barrel. Yesterday (Tuesday), oil prices were hovering at $77 per barrel.

The firm, like its peers has also been bolstered by government decision to hike petroleum prices in May. Petrol went up by 23 thebe, 45 thebe for diesel and 38 thebe for paraffin, all per litre. Eric Molale, the minister responsible for petroleum products in the country did not rule out any price increase in the foreseeable future on the backdrop of rising international oil prices.

Local users of petroleum products are not even saved by the fact that the National Petroleum Fund-which cushions customers against increasing oil prices, is fast running dry due to alleged misappropriation by those tasked with maintaining it (the Fund).

Meanwhile, Engen which is headed by Chimweta Moonga has told its shareholders that results will be out before this month ends. “Therefore shareholders are advised to exercise caution when trading in the group securities until such time as a detailed announcement is made,” said a statement from the BSE listed firm.

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Graduates urged to be innovative

Keikantse Lesemela

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Botswana Institute of Chartered Accountants (BICA) President, Verily Molatedi has urged graduates to look beyond job seeking and come up with creative and innovative ways to create employment and contribute to economic development.

This Monday, over 400 students graduated from Imperial School of Business and Science (ISBS) from different fields including business management, Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT), finance and banking, human resource management, tourism and hospitality management and advertising. The ceremony was the first batch of students who completed degree programmes in ISBS.

Speaking during the graduation ceremony, Molatedi said the 21st century is awash with many opportunities and challenges but it is only the optimistic that can rise above and turn challenges into opportunities. “I therefore urge all graduates to acknowledge and take advantage of the government efforts in providing facilities beyond tertiary education and contribute towards economic diversification. To this end some of you may have to be entrepreneurs,” said Molatedi.

Molatedi explained that with over 10 000 graduates annually produced in tertiary institutions, graduates must continually build their skills and think innovatively and create their own brands as this will increase their chances of employability globally.

“Employability is about making sure that you diversify your skills, get knowledge for the industry. It is the key to realizing our economic diversification agenda, and hinges on your availability to be enablers in the country’s present and future economy,” said Molatedi.

Imperial School of Business and Science Director, Nidheesh Sharma said graduates have unique professional identity and a set of values and beliefs that will allow them to continue their quest for lifelong learning and distinguish themselves in their chosen paths as the faculties offered are globally recognized.

“Previously we have had many students completing certificates and diploma programmes but this is the first batch to have completed degree programmes. Graduating annually, young professionals were imparted with the knowledge and skills that are required by the regional and global job market,” said Sharma.

Sharma highlighted that ISBS started in 2003 as a BOTA registered institute and in 2011 it registered with Tertiary Education Council (TEC) and started offering Diploma and Advanced Diploma Programmes. “In 2013, the school re-branded from its old name to current name, ISBS. In 2015, ISBS was awarded best upcoming Institution by HRDC and in 2018 HRDC put us in the top three of Private Colleges,” he said.

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